Raiders Invisible

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excerpt from the book,..The muffled, helmeted figure of a pilot climbed down the spiderladder, nestled into the foremost scout's cockpit and pressed thestarting button. The motor spat out a wisp of smoke, then burst intoits full-throated roar: the automatic clamp above loosened: the scoutdropped plummet-like, bobbed to the flagship below, straightened outand zoomed six thousand feet up into the morning blue, where ithovered for a few moments like an eagle on taut wings. LieutenantChristopher Travers, the pilot, glanced around.Behind and below him was spread a magnificent panorama. Across theplate of scintillating glass that was the sea moved rows of toy ships,tipped by the gleaming, one-fifth-mile long shape of a dirigible, ofwhose three scout planes Chris's was the leader. As he watched, thesecond scout dropped from the plane rack beneath the dirigible's sleekunderside and went streaking away, followed by the third, in responseto the Admiral's order of: "Proceed ahead to locate the enemy'sposition."A grin relaxed Chris Travers' tanned, boyish face. His narrowed grayeyes swept the horizon. Below it somewhere lay hidden the ranks of theBlack Fleet, complete with its own destroyers, submarines, cruisers,battleships, aircraft carriers and the ZX-2, sister dirigible of theBlue Fleet's ZX-1. Chris spurted the scout ahead and murmured:"This war game's goin' to be a big affair--the biggest yet!"It was. The Atlantic Fleet of the United States Navy, termed "Blue"for convenience, had been assigned to guard the Panama Canal; thePacific Fleet, "Black," to attack it. The cream of America's seaforces had been assembled for that week of March, 1935, all the wayfrom crabby little destroyers to the two newly completed monarchs ofthe air, the twin dirigibles, fresh from the hangars at Akron, athousand feet each in length and loaded with the latest offensive anddefensive devices developed by Government laboratories.
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